Dinosaurs: Preserving Jurassic Giants

Get hands-on as you dig for dinosaurs alongside paleontologists in Wyoming’s Warm Springs Ranch, exploring a dig site, identifying specimens and learning about ancient geology.
Rating (5)
Program No. 15388RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

In the Late Jurassic Period, dinosaurs fed on the lush flora that covered Wyoming. Discover the remains of that ancient ecosystem in the Jurassic Age rocks of Warm Springs Ranch. Learn the story of the quarries and the importance of excavation. From the simple to the complex, paleontologists give hands-on instruction in the tools of their trade. Cull bone from stone and identify specimens. During excavation, a constant dialogue with your instructors keeps the quarry buzzing with learning and discovery.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking 1-2 miles over flat terrain on field trip. Elevations of 4,300 feet. Varies by date: On Your Feet: Dates will involve dinosaur bone preservation in a lab. You will help paleontologists from the Wyoming Dinosaur Center (WDC) prepare dinosaur bones for preservation and display. Gain hands-on experience in the molding and casting process to create bone replicas, and get in-depth insight into the museum’s dinosaur exhibits and collections. Let’s Go: Dates will involve working in an active dig site. Must be able to sit down on the ground at the dig site and get back up without assistance. Sitting for extended periods of time on the ground and must be able to carry/empty your bucket of dirt.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Get firsthand experience at removing surrounding rock from an assigned dinosaur bone and learn how to repair, reassemble and seal bones for preservation.
  • Join a Wyoming Dinosaur Center staff member for an exploration of the center and its dig sites.
  • Embark on an expert-led journey through Wind River Canyon and Hot Springs and learn about the region’s fascinating geology.

General Notes

Extra-small group size; maximum of 11. Participants will receive the Basic Field Techniques Certificate, enabling them to volunteer for the foundation any time and offer evidence of field competence at other museums. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
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Bill Wahl
As a child, Bill Wahl collected dinosaur toys — today, he works as the Paleontologist and Preparation Laboratory manager at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. He is in charge of preparing a selection of material collected locally from various geologic formations. Using these materials, as well as his master’s degree in geology, Bill teaches outreach programs at universities and science museums. He has developed four separate thesis projects on the materials he has collected, prepared and researched, and enjoys sharing his findings with learners of all ages.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Bill Wahl
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Jurassic West: The Dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation and Their World (Life of the Past)
by John Foster
Rising From The Plains
by John McPhee
The Top 256 Rules of Paleontology
by Walter Stein
Wyoming's Dinosaur Discoveries
by The Big Horn Basin Foundation
Written by the Dig Site Manager of the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, this pictorial book explains where Wyoming Dinosaurs are now located around the World.

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